Former Allegheny County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty, 59, of Mt. Lebanon, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Monday, January 3, 2022, at St. Margaret Hospital from complications related to COVID-19. Mark leaves behind his wife, Anne (Keegan), and daughter Deirdre, 16. Mark is the son of Katy Flaherty and the late former Allegheny Commission Chairman and Commonwealth Court Judge Jim Flaherty.
After he left public service, Mr. Flaherty continued to practice law, representing individuals and governmental agencies, and working in SEC regulatory compliance as an investment advisor representative.
Mark was a three-sport varsity athlete at Mt. Lebanon High School, including being named to a United States High School All American soccer team and was a WPIAL player of the year in 1979. Mark was a top high school wrestler at Mt. Lebanon and Sewickley Academy, where he became a section champion as an eighth-grader. He played NCAA Division I varsity Baseball at Duke University, from which he graduated in 1984 with a degree in Economics. Mark was actively involved in coaching girls' sports in Mt. Lebanon, including soccer and softball. Mark was an avid sportsman and athlete. He participated in adult soccer and ice hockey leagues, was an excellent skier and golfer, and closely followed all of Pittsburgh's professional sports teams.
Mark was very proud of his daughter and her accomplishments. He loved his time with her during travel softball games and tournaments, and actively volunteered in her WPRC ski teams' racing events. The two played golf matches together and enjoyed long car rides together traveling to her events.
Mark worked his way through law school promoting the early Pittsburgh Marathon races in the late 1980s and 90's. He served as a legal intern for Western District Federal Court before practicing tax at PWC for two years. After graduating from Duquesne Law School, he eventually went into private practice, prior to a successful run for the Controller's position. He served two terms, beginning in 2003. His twenty-year legal practice included the areas of tax, finance, corporations, government, and representing minority and women's business enterprises.
During his two terms as Controller, Mark worked to transfer the Bureau of Weights and Measures into the Controller's Office, reducing the administrative expense of that division. He automated several processes in the Controller's Office, which had historically been performed manually, winning a national award for government office automation. Mr. Flaherty cleaned up the assessment office and authored the home-rule study commission that ultimately changed county government, authoring a study that led to the restructuring row offices from 10 to 4 positions. He also was on the Allegheny County jail oversight board for eight years and was one of the leading voices for reforming an overcrowded jail. His experience in legal, government finance, and equity reform brought necessary and meaningful changes to Allegheny County. He worked on decreasing inmate capacity at the Allegheny County jail and created an MWOB (Minority/Woman-owned businesses) program at the pension board which allowed these businesses a share in county opportunities. Mark's work as Controller saved Allegheny Taxpayers millions of dollars and the performance audits he authored during that time introduced several efficiencies which county government continues to implement to this day.
After leaving the Controller's office he was selected to serve on the Pennsylvania County Code Revision Committee in 2013-2018, where he was tasked to rewrite Pennsylvania's County Code, correcting gender biases and other equality issues, thus modernizing the legislation. He was also selected by his peers to serve as legal counsel for the Pennsylvania State Association of County Controllers (PSACC) in 2012.
Mark also represented underserved communities in the areas of municipal finance as well as several minority/women's business start-up ventures, enabling them to participate in the awarding of government contracts.
In addition to his wife, daughter, and mother, he is survived by his brother Michael (Laurel), and sisters Mary Rita Flaherty (Andy Schroer) of Mercersburg, PA, Maureen Menton (Bernie Menton) of Braintree, MA, and Molly Flaherty of Avondale, PA. He was cherished by his five nieces and seven nephews, and beloved by his cousins and friends.
Friends may join colleagues and family at WILLIAM SLATER II FUNERAL SERVICES, 1650 Greentree Rd., Scott Twp 15220 for visitation Sunday, January 9, 12-3 and 5-7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial follows on Monday, January 10 at 10 am at St. Bernard Church, St. Michael the Archangel Parish, 311 Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon. Burial to follow in Queen of Heaven Cemetery. www.slaterfuneral.com